Hypothetical: Mass consecration to reassert Apostolic Succession

I love these sorts of questions!

Anyway, the Catholic Church long asserted that Anglican Holy Orders are invalid because of insufficiency with the consecration wording for almost a generation or two of Anglican Bishops.

Old Catholics, and potentially some Eastern and Oriental Orthodox are in communion with the Anglican Church. They all have valid Orders per the Roman Catholic Church.

Could a couple of those bishops, at the request of the Anglican Church, lead a huge consecration service to re-establish valid apostolic succession in the eyes of the RCC?

They could indeed, but there would be at least four other conditions:

  • The Anglican ordinal for the consecration of bishops would have to be “tweaked” to be valid in the eyes of the RCC, if it isn’t already
  • The Anglican ordinal for the ordination of priests would have to be similarly “tweaked”, again, if it isn’t valid in the eyes of the RCC
  • All Anglican priests would then have to be ordained at least sub conditione
  • And no women priests or bishops could participate in this mass “reset”, and indeed would have to revert to being laywomen

Not all Anglicans would like this.


I imagine such would still be illicit in the eyes of the Catholic Church, therefore, what would be the point? What would motivate the Church to permit such a thing as both valid and licit?

Oh I was just posing a hypothetical. I love thinking through legal loophole questions.

essentially I love the concepts: Could it happen? If so, then how?

You and me too, brother. It’s called “thinking”.

Sadly, intellectuals do not play a large part in American life. In France, a country I dearly love, people look to the intellectuals of the day, they have a prominent place in public life and discourse, and that is as it should be. In America, we have Noam Chomsky, Camille Paglia, used to have Bill Buckley, and that’s about it.

I think you have provided a pretty good summary, I like it.

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